China to boost biotech industry

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The Chinese government will give a boost to the biotechnology industry in order to tackle problems related to population growth, food safety, energy conservation and environmental protection, the State Council said Sunday.

The government aims to double the share of GDP that the sector's value-added output accounts for by 2015 from the 2010 level, according to a biotech industry development plan unveiled by the State Council, or China's cabinet.

The sector will see its output surge at an average annual rate of more than 20 percent from 2013 to 2015, according to the plan.

The government also plans to improve the sector's innovation and technological prowess to make it a pillar industry by 2020.

New medicines, crops, biofuels and environmental technology are needed to protect the health of an aging population, ensure food safety and save energy, the plan says.

The government is targeting an annual production value of 150 billion yuan (23.8 billion U.S. dollars) by 2015 for the biofuel sector, according to the plan.

The sector's overall output has risen at an annual average of more than 20 percent since 2006, reaching 2 trillion yuan in 2011, according to the plan.

The sector is one of seven emerging industries that the government is aiming to promote over the next few years in order to turn domestic consumption and technological innovation into driving forces for the economy.

The other sectors include advanced materials, alternative energy, new-generation information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new-energy cars, energy conservation and environmental protection.

The government has set a goal of ensuring that the sectors' combined value-added output will account for 8 percent of the GDP by 2015.

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